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New Award Honors Five of the Year’s Best Performers

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival created a new award for 2008 which will honor Casey Affleck, Marion Cotillard, James McAvoy, Ellen Page, and Amy Ryan with the first 2007 Virtuosos Award at the 23rd edition of the Fest, which runs January 24-February 3, 2008, it was announced today by SBIFF Executive Director Roger Durling.
The 2007 Virtuosos Award was created this year to recognize a select group of young actors who have distinguished themselves through performances in film this past year. They will be presented the honor on Wednesday, January 30, 2008.
“There will always be one or two performances that stand out, but this year in particular there were several performances by actors that truly set them apart from the pack. These talented actors have proven themselves to be a strong presence on-screen, and these performances have given a glimpse at the bright future that cinema has to offer audiences for years to come,” Durling commented.
Those actors who were selected to be recognized for their stand-out performances are: Casey Affleck, who illustrated his remarkable range in two of the year’s most powerful performances: his multilayered turn as Robert Ford in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” and as a young detective faced with the ultimate moral dilemma in “Gone Baby Gone.” Marion Cotillard, whose impressionist portrait of an artist who regretted nothing stars in a blazing performance channeling Edith Piaf’s otherworldly quality in “La Vie En Rose;” James McAvoy, whose portrayal of Robbie Turner in “Atonement” exudes the essence of humanity in a truly soulful picture, further proving he’s a bona fide leading man; Ellen Page whose mixture of flamboyant self-possession and vulnerability in the title role in “Juno” could turn her into a new role model; and Amy Ryan, whose character in “Gone Baby Gone” could have easily been a trashy cliché but believably portrays the abrasive and negligent single mom fearlessly, while also co-starring in “Before The Devil Knows Your Dead”.
The tribute, produced by Dana Morrow, will take place at the Lobero Theatre at 8pm on Wednesday, January 30. Tickets for the event are on sale now and can be purchased for $65 through or through the Lobero Box Office, 805.963.0761 and the Arlington Theater Box office, 805.963.4408. Festival Platinum and Cinema Passes are currently on sale exclusively at the Lobero Box Office. Box Office fees will apply for all Film Festival Passes, Mini-Paks, and event tickets.
The Santa Barbara International Film Festival, with American Express as a Premiere Sponsor of the 2008 Festival, is set to run January 24 through February 3. The SBIFF is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching local culture and raising consciousness of film as an art form. The SBIFF presents quality American and world independent films, Latin American and Asian sidebars as well as documentary cinema within the beautiful setting of downtown Santa Barbara, a premier tourist destination. The SBIFF is also committed to education through its Student Filmmaking and Screenwriting Competitions, Field Trip to the Movies, and educational seminars. With a projected audience of over 60,000 viewing more than 200 films over its eleven-day run, the SBIFF attracts an affluent local and national consumer base, while maintaining strong ties with the entertainment industry in nearby Los Angeles. For more information, please visit

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